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Antoin Sevruguin photographs of Persia, 1880s-1890s

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Sevruguin (Antoin) photographs

Scope and Content of Collection

The 97 albumen photographs in this collection are representative of Antoin Sevruguin's all-encompassing documentation of Persia, and comprise a mixture of studio portraits, outdoor vernacular scenes and landscapes. Portraits of "types" include "Persan(es)" (Persians); professions such as tea seller, druggist, fig vendor and street banker; mendicants; dervishes; courtesans and prostitutes, shot in the studio or in their typical locales. All levels of society are present here from court treasurers, represented by the retinue of Ghavam-al-Dowleh, to unnamed opium smokers, and to a portrait of a Chaldean Christian woman.

There are numerous views of Tehran, including views of four of the city's six gates; the English legation; arsenal; gas factory; and the Place des Canons. A photograph captioned "Mosquée de Khoum" provides an intimate glimpse of two men sitting on an open balcony with the impressive mosque as their backdrop. Daily life is represented in views of Tehran's markets and street life.

Other locales represented include Anzalī Lagoon with views of its shores and the shah's palace, and the province of Gīlān, especially local industry and life in the town of Rasht. Trade routes in the environs of Gīlān and other areas to the north and west of Tehran are also pictured, with a focus on way stations; bridges leading to trade centers; and the movement of the goods themselves in covered wagons, on camels and in caravanserai. From further afield come images of the nomads of Taliche in Mazandaran province and from Lorestan in the west, as well as of the inhabitants of Imamzadeh, Kurdistan. Also included are a few views of bas-reliefs at Persepolis and other ancient sites.


The collection is arranged in a single series: Series I, Photographs, 1880s-1890s.

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